Lynx AH Mk.9A programme nears completion
AgustaWestland has held a ceremony to mark the completion of the Lynx Mk9A programme and the scheduled delivery of the 22nd and final Lynx AH Mk9A helicopter to the British Army Air Corps in December 2011. The programme will be completed three months ahead of schedule according to a 15 December 2011 company statement.
The twenty-two aircraft programme was the result of Urgent Operational Requirement contracts placed in November 2008 and March 2010. Initially a £50 million contract was issued for the upgrade of twelve Lynx AH Mk.9 aircraft with the CTS800-4N engine and other equipment pulled forward from the AW159 Lynx Wildcat programme. The new engines produce 37% more power than the Gem engines fitted to the original Lynx AH Mk.9 giving the Mk.9A a significant increase in power allowing it to operate in extreme hot and high conditions at high weights. The Lynx AH Mk.9A upgrade required modifications to be carried out to the main gear box, top deck structure and rear fuselage to accommodate the CTS800-4N engines. Additionally changes were carried out in the cockpit for the new engine controls and digital displays.
According to the company, the first flight of the Lynx AH Mk.9A took place just 10 months after contract award on 16th September 2009 at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility. Since then the programme has seen a number of contract including the a £42 million contract extension by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the upgrade of 10 more British Army Lynx Mk.9 helicopters, which meant all of the British Army’s 22 Lynx Mk.9 helicopters were to be upgraded to Mk.9A standard in a seamless conversion programme.
In September 2010 deliveries of the first batch of 12 aircraft was completed three months ahead of schedule and in December 2011 the 22nd aircraft will also be delivered 3-months early.
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